The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, has called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to urgently convene a meeting with the service chiefs to address security concerns.
Situation Room, in a statement signed by its Convener, Ene Obi, on Friday, while commending the extension of the collection of permanent voter cards, however, expressed worry that security agencies were yet to sufficiently dispelled security concerns across the country.
Obi, therefore, called on the Federal Government and Buhari to call together the service chiefs and deliberate on providing security, in order to keep its promise of conducting the elections, as scheduled.
The group said, “Taking into cognisance the statement of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the position of the Federal Government remains that the 2023 General Elections will be held as planned, Situation Room therefore calls on President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Service Chiefs to urgently convene to address these security concerns.
“This will assure Nigerians that they are up to the task of their mandate to ensure the safety of lives and property across the country, and that there will also be no interference with the 2023 elections as scheduled, as Nigerians will not accept any attempt to scuttle the conduct of the general elections.
The group also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to intensify its training of adhoc staff, particularly in the use of the Bi-Modial Voter Accreditation System, adding that INEC must also continue voter education and awareness to discourage vote buying and selling, as was observed during the Ekiti and Osun elections in 2022.
Citing complaints of Nigerians on the strenuous collection processes in some Ward collection centres, Situation Room called on INEC to further extend the Ward level collection until February 23, 2023, to enable more people collect their PVCs with ease and deploy more staff to the ward centres to ease distribution of PVCs and fasten the process.
The group also urged INEC to do everything in its power to ensure the smooth conduct of elections, while also urging registered voters to go and collect their PVCs ahead of the general elections.